May 2013 Round Table Report
Regarding the previously mentioned Terminal Pay/Pension Lawsuit the PPOACCC has intervened with various labor groups in Contra Costa including the DSA and Fire. The common struggle has become increasingly complex, and continues in the Courtroom and in the politics of a biased print media. Many of those Associations, Organizations and Unions attorneys are collectively working diligently to bring a swift and successful resolution. The next significant Court Hearing will be on May 24, 2013. Currently, under the Court’s Order, terminal pay will continue to be included in final compensation for at least 60 days after it decides the case. On May 1, 2013, the PPOACCC Membership voted to include a $5.00 assessment per member to help fund the aforementioned lawsuit.
In a recent Department Safety Meeting, Chief Kader joined the meeting and commented on firearm storage by stating there will be one area in each office to lock up firearms. The Armory will be at the Sheriff’s Armory in Marsh Creek. Eventually, the Probation Department will have an armory, but there are no plans for that at this time.
Armed staff will be responsible for their firearm. They can choose to leave it in the office overnight or if they decide to take it home it is the individual’s responsibility to secure it.
Due to attrition and new programs, the department continues to hire Probation Counselors and Probation Officers. Administration spoke of the change in procedure when hiring new DPOs. New hires will be going through Functional Capacity Testing along with the medical testing prior to being hired. Hopefully this will reduce workplace injuries in the future.
As of May 1, 2013, the use of the Metal Detector at the Main Probation Office will commence for any Probationer, visitor, etc…attempting to gain authorized entry into the secure portion of the office.
Kudos to the Juvenile Hall Scrambled Eggheads for capturing their tenth Contra Costa County Employees’ Trivia Tournament crown on April 20th. The proceeds from the 28th edition of the tourney benefited the non-profit Juvenile Hall Auxiliary.
Congratulations to the following for all their years of dedicated services as Probation Peace Officers and who retired at the end of March: Larry Lagano and Stacy McPherson. Good Luck in your Second Life!
Let’s Be Careful Out There!
With the three officers in background, we are up to 133 officers.
Negotiations with our County are stalled due to a fact-finding that provided a non-binding “in favor”recommendation as to SEIU bargaining groups.
Fresno County is considering altering officer training (i.e.: range, SIMS, baton, force options) to “block style” way of schedule training as opposed to year around.
Chief Penner did effectively retire the end of March. She is currently serving as the interim-chief. County is actively recruiting for her replacement. She recently returned to Sacramento to meet with Governor Brown.
Lee Seale has been announced as our new Chief Probation Officer. He is coming to our department from CDCR and we are looking forward to working with him in order to advance our department into the post realignment future. We are optimistic that a Chief coming in from the outside will have fresh eyes which are desperately needed to change the culture of our department. Our department could be facing reductions for the fifth straight year with the potential loss of SB 678 Funding. Currently 19 sworn positions have been proposed to be cut in June’s Budget Hearings. We hope that the Governor will return SB 678 Funding in his May revise so that we can avoid further reductions in our already depleted department. Our current contract ends in June of 2014. We have appointed our Contract Negotiation Team and look forward to the scheduled June training that is being put on by the Mastagni Law Firm. We encourage every Probation Organization to take advantage of the training. The more Probation Organizations that attend, the stronger the training will be. We hope to see you there, please stay safe.
Right now we are in the middle of contract bargaining. It’s going slow and not very fruitful. We are asking for increases in wages, healthcare, uniform and equipment expenses. We are not making much headway with the county. Hopefully we can come to an agreement soon.
AB109 is still the hot topic. One of our officers was attacked the other night by one of our PRO’s. He is doing fine, but this demonstrates that the non-non-nons are not non violent. The case loads are down to manageable levels as we are hiring more and more AB109 officers. Training is going 24/7 with another armed academy coming up around the corner.
We are still at Mandatory overtime in our institutions with no end in sight. We are bringing in about 4 new officers into the institutions every two weeks. Training here is also maxed out. New training classes in EPB, Evidence Base Practices and IBIS is taking up a lot of training time. The issue we have is getting our department into a Gang class which is offered once a year. We pay for our officers to attend and in the past our department would give them release time to attend. Now they have taken away the release time from our officers. Probably the most important training they can get and the department shuts them down.
Voluntary transfers and transfers overall have become an issue in our department. With all the new positions available officers are moving here and there with the department picking and choosing who goes where. We are trying to keep them accountable as we move forward. We are hanging in there and hopefully we will have better news at the next roundtable. Be safe
In my last update, I indicated that several safety issues had been addressed. With that being said, we still have several issues that remain outstanding. First and foremost is security for our Adult Division building. In March, the Board of Supervisors approved two security guards to staff the entrance of the building; while the last of the security equipment is either pending installation or going through testing. As long as there are no issues with the contract through County Purchasing, security operations should be up and running sometime in the month of May. The second safety issue involves the selection and subsequent training in an intermediate use-of-force weapon. As previously mentioned, the Department is looking to adopt Tasers. A presentation is being done for our Department on May 20th in order to assess the device. It is our hope that a choice is made soon, with training and implementation following shortly thereafter.
The Department and the Association are working together to develop a policy, per state and federal law, that governs the arming of retired probation officers. The policy would effectively operate as a way for retired probation officers to carry a concealed weapon with approval of the chief. Current law dictates that upon retirement a CCW be issued to a sworn officer that was authorized in the course of their regular duties to carry a firearm. Absent the officer having left for a disciplinary issue or specified medical/psychological issues, the officer shall be granted a retiree CCW. Both sides are also working towards a revised critical incident policy that would streamline responses for critical incidents, and would create a checklist for staff to use in the case of an emergency.
Born out of Labor Management meetings and a Meet & Confer, both the Department and the Association developed an EBP Programming Committee in the hope of being able to discuss and resolve issues related to the implementation of evidence based practices programming. While the first meeting did not produce specific results, it was a substantively good introductory meeting.
Unfortunately, at that meeting and afterwards, both sides disagreed on the definition of the Committee which ultimately resulted in the Committee being placed on hiatus for an undetermined period of time. The Department believes the Committee is a departmental committee, while the Association believes it is an extension of Labor Management; which would mean that our members would have time to caucus (time to meet) and would have protected speech. We believe that once both sides reach an agreement on how the Committee is supposed to operate, both sides will benefit from increased dialogue and problem solving.
Greetings from Solano County,
We continue to await a final outcome to our PERB claim related to our last round of negotiations. Once that is finalized, we will most likely return to the table to renegotiate our previously imposed terms and conditions.
Our Center for Positive Change (Day Reporting Center for the PRCS unit) is beginning to function, with evidenced based cognitive behavioral treatment groups starting. This has been a slow and very political process in our County.
We continue to struggle with the hiring of new staff, as it seems to be very difficult to get people through the hiring process. Our DPO recruitment is now “open and continuous” until appropriate candidates are found. Who would have thought hiring would be this difficult.
There is change in the works for our Department that is certain. Some of it is known to us, some of it remains a mystery. For now all we can do is wait and see.
Stay safe my friends.
Negotiations for a new employment contract have begun between the Tuolumne County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the county. Initial talks have not gone well; the county is not offering anything to replace the nine percent they intend to take from us for retirement. The DSA is ready to take the fight all the way. On the positive side, our management staff supports our efforts to maintain or improve our pay and benefit package.
In April, we graduated four Post Release Community Supervision offenders from the Behavioral Interventions program. All four are now employed, have stable housing and have not committed new crimes. Our work with BI continues to be a successful arrangement.
Plans for the construction of a new juvenile hall continue to move forward, and we are still planning on opening the hall in the Fall of 2014. With the new hall, we will be hiring corrections staff to run it. This is good news for employment in Tuolumne County.
We now have three armed adult supervision officers. The officers have received training through STC, as well as from Stanislaus County Probation, who have been a good partner with us. The armed officers work closely with a Tuolumne County sheriff deputy assigned to the AB109 unit, and have participated in important training such as “Active Shooter,” “Building Clearing,” and proper search and seizure techniques.
VCPPOA and the County have begun the negotiation process for our upcoming contract, which expires in June. We are hopeful that we will be compensated fairly for the additional duties we are performing as a result of realignment, and the more dangerous population we are now supervising. However, we are also preparing for a difficult fight. To prepare ourselves for negotiations, VCPPOA has retained a consulting firm to perform two main functions. First, to assist in raising our profile in the community and educate the public as to what we do and how we contribute to the safety of the community. Secondly, to aid us in strategically mobilizing the membership to rally for our common cause.
The Agency continues to hire CSOs to staff our juvenile hall and additional DPOs, mainly to backfill those who are moved to handle AB109 functions. After several recent retirements in management and among line staff, the Agency will soon be promoting approximately three Senior DPOs to supervisor and six DPOs to Senior DPO. Two former CSOs successfully passed the Ventura County Sheriff’s academy and another is in the current academy class. Another CSO recently left the Agency after being hired by the CHP.
YCPA has had a few membership changes recently. due to retirement and separations. We currently have 81 association members.
Discipline has become a major concern, and we have taken issue with our members being disproportionately disciplined, versus the methods in which supervisors and managers are disciplined for similar conduct.
The Probation Department is in the midst of recruiting for a Chief Probation Officer. We have been without a permanent CPO for approximately a year.
We are engaged in meet and confer sessions concerning implementation of a departmental policy and procedures manual. We are hopeful to have the meet and confer process concluded in the next few weeks. One recent addition to our policy and procedures manual is a request by staff for an intermediate use of force option: the asp/collapsible baton. A draft policy has been submitted, and is being reviewed by department administration.
Our current MOU is set to expire in June 2014.
The association recently began a college scholarship program, named the William "Bill" Rickers Memorial Scholarship. We received three applications for a $1,000.00 college scholarship. The scholarship committee will be reviewing the applications and make an award announcement prior to upcoming area graduation ceremonies.